Friday, November 16, 2018

How to explain JStreet to a liberal

Sar Shalom

At every opportunity, JStreet describes itself a "pro-Israel, pro-peace," as though saying the words "pro-Israel" was a get out of defaming Israel free card. Unfortunately, many liberals accept JStreet's self-proclaimed description of being "pro-Israel," thus including JStreet's prescriptions within the legitimate realm of discussion of Israel's options. Aside from the standard approach of pointing out that JStreet virtually never defends Israel against clear libels, I would like to suggest a parallel approach directed specifically at liberals.

During the runup to the recent midterm elections, Republicans began to realize the salience of health care to the electorate and responded by describing their health care priorities as preserving protections for those with pre-existing conditions. No matter what is presented about Republican lawsuits to overturn those protections that exist currently under the ACA or description of the costs that their proposals would impose on those with pre-existing conditions, their response is always that they will protect policy-holders with pre-existing conditions. If one accepts the logic that JStreet's description of themselves as pro-Israel removes any doubt as to their being pro-Israel, then one must also accept the Republicans' claims to be acting in defense of protections for pre-existing conditions removes any doubt as to their dedication to those protections. Are liberals prepared to accept that conclusion?


  1. What if one does not accept that J-Street is pro-Israel? What does that mean for acceptance of the Republican claims, or any claims for that matter?

    Why not just take each situation on its own?

    Not to mention, conflating progressives with liberals is problematic. The former have already decided these matters and will come up with other arguments no matter how persuasive or sensical the presentation. Why bother? Better to state that J-Street is anti-Israel, and if they are not, then they should get woke.

    1. "What does that mean for acceptance of the Republican claims"

      What it means is that the Republicans' slogan tells you nothing about what effect their agenda would have on patients with pre-existing conditions. To determine whether or not to accept their claims, one would have to assess what changes they would make in the health market and what effect those changes would have on those they claim to protect. This is roughly the process for assessing JStreet's claim to be pro-Israel.

      "Why not just take each situation on its own?"

      The objective is to establish the fact that a group's agenda can be completely detached from its slogan. Liberals would most readily accept that detachment when it is applied to Republicans. Once it is established that the slogan is insufficient to define being pro-Israel, they would need to point to something else. I doubt they would find anything.

  2. You don't need Republican claims about what they will or won't do with healthcare to convince people that J Street is not exactly pro-Israel. Just use their own record on the subject. You yourself noted that for a purportedly pro-Israel organization they have nothing positive to say about Israel. Initially, Jeremy Ben Ami claimed that J Street is an alternative to AIPAC. Clearly it isn't and he was being deceptive right from the beginning, i.e., he was lying. AIPAC does not give money to, or endorse candidates, for public office. AIPAC is about involvement in partisan involvement in US or Israeli politics. It simply cultivates relationships with whoever is an officeholder to support America's relationship with the State of Israel. J Street is the opposite. It is a partisan political organization of the left.
    J Street is deceptive, partisan, and deceitful. J Street sucks.
    He wants the American left to run Israel rather than Israelis.

    1. Should read: AIPAC is NOT about involvement in partisan politics either left or right, but simply cultivates relationships with elected officials to support the US/Israel alliance irrespective of whom Israelis choose to run their government.

  3. Mike,
    I know you'll appreciate this:

  4. “And while [Jeremy] Ben Ami [leader of J Street]
    is trying to assert his group's Zionist bona fides,
    a number of speakers at the conference questioned
    the very idea of a Jewish state, and actually
    received loud applause.”

    SOURCE: article titled: The Fork in J Street
    by James Kirchick, an assistant editor of The New Republic, 2009 October 31,

    “What is J Street other than a Judenrat desperate to seek the approval of the politically-correct Jew-hating crowd?”

    SOURCE: The Unending Insecurity
    by Mighty Garnel Ironheart, 2015 July 5

    “Leaders of NIF and J-Street strenuously claim
    to be pro-Israel, yet they never say anything nice
    about Israel or defend it from its more strident critics.”

    SOURCE: Bedouin-Arab Town Was Strongest Netanyahu Supporter in Elections by Elder of Ziyon, 2015 March 20

    “Since the left lost control of Israel,
    it has been hell-bent on destroying it.”

    SOURCE: Israel’s Leftist Losers by Daniel Greenfield, 2015 March 19

    “In J Street, the Obama administration found
    a Jewish voice to echo its own misconceptions
    about the Middle East, and its antipathy for Israel.”

    What Does It Mean to Be ‘Pro-Israel’? by Sohrab Ahmari 2015 April 1
    Sohrab Ahmari is an editorial-page writer for the Wall Street Journal in London.

    “J Street loves Israel: the pre 1967 Israel,
    the Israel of the Exodus, with dancing children,
    shiksa girlfriends, Arab brothers,
    and blue-eyed Israeli heroes.”

    Eva Gold of New Brunswick, NJJN Monmouth, 2009 December 1, page 32.

  5. “J Street has been loudly silent on Iran’s suppression of human rights, it’s some 100,000 executions of its own citizens, its support for genocidal terror, its race to achieve nuclear capacity and its incitement to genocide—its use of stonings to kill women for so-called sexual crimes, and fact that Iran has the highest per capita rate of executions in the world, with more than 140 since Rouhami came to power.”

    SOURCE: J Street’s Phony Liberalism
    by Professor Elihu D. Richter MD MPH, 2014 April 30

    “J Street has hosted rabidly anti-Semitic speakers
    such as Sam Bahour on its national stage.

    Bahour peddles slanders against the Jewish people,
    accusing them of engaging in ethnic cleansing
    and genocide against Arabs.”

    SOURCE: Dear J Street:
    Time to End the Hypocrisy

    by Chloe Valdary, 2014 May 9

    “J Street announced another controversial policy
    stance in March, when it backed the PA refusal
    to recognize Israel as the Jewish state.”

    ADL Supports J Street Joining US Conference of Presidents
    by IsraPundit, 2014 April 30,

    “Liberals Alan Dershowitz, Rep. Gary Ackerman Have Condemned J-Street; Group That Defames and Delegitimizes Israel Does Not Belong In The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations”

    “J-Street-PAC raises million of dollars to defeat Israel’s staunchest supporters in the U.S. Congress…”

    Significantly, J-Street lobbies against sanctions and against military action to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program. J-Street works closely with NIAC (National Iranian American Council), a notorious apparent agent of the Iranian regime. NIAC board member Genevieve Lynch is a significant J-Street donor. J-Street brings to its conferences and college campuses leading NIAC pro-Iranian regime speakers, including NIAC head and leading Iran apologist Trita Parsi, and Hillary Mann Leverett, who, during a J-Street event condemned as “fundamentally racist” anyone who did not “trust” the Iranian regime. J-Street likewise urges U.S. Congresspersons to simply “believe in Iran.”

    Conference of Presidents Clearly Rejects
    the Extremist Group J-Street’s Bid

    by ZOA Staff May 1, 2014


    “Here is Marcia Freedman, in a J-Street panel discussion on Liberal Zionism and sitting next to Peter Beinart, describing how she believes that the Jewish people should not have a state, and that instead they should live as a minority in an Arab Palestine as a protected minority – in other words, as dhimmis.”

    “J-Street has an open tent policy for people who want Israel to disappear, and spends most of its time attacking Jews who passionately love Israel.

    Worse than that is that despite its avowed purpose, the organization cannot and does not defend Israel’s existence against its critics – instead, it gives its critics a platform where they can spout their hate unopposed.”

    J-Street Speaker Calls for Destruction of Israel
    – to Applause
    by Elder of Ziyon, 2015 March 27

  6. I don't try to explain things to liberals. Or anyone, really. I'm not all that fascinated with what they think believe need do want feel or say. It's not an angry statement, it's a statement of reality. They don't really try to change my mind, they just want to lecture and moralize and tell me what a PoS I am. I don't care. Like I always say: grab a gun and stand point. Work the food line at the homeless shelter. Go to the foodbank. Do your turn at the infant AIDS ward. Bring a service dog to the hospice. Take care of a sick person or an old person. Do some fucking thing and shut the fuck up. And then shut the fuck up some more. Thank you and you're welcome.

  7. “The J Street lobbying agenda includes extensive demands on Israel and none on the Palestinians, apparently affirming Zomlot’s contention that an alliance exists between the PLO and the progressive lobbying group.”

    SOURCE: Washington PLO envoy says
    J Street members are ‘Palestinian allies’

    by Jonathan Greenberg, 2018 April 18

    “How can [J Street] continue billing itself as a pro-Israel organization when it is backing a congressional candidate who has pledged to vote against U.S. military aid to Israel when she gets to Congress?” the National Council of Young Israel questioned in a statement.

    SOURCE: J Street PAC funds Michigan
    Democratic candidate for Congress who supports BDS

    by Jackson Richman, 2018/8/17

    “The J Street poll question began with a list of six points that supposedly would be part of any agreement creating a Palestinian state. The respondent was then asked whether he or she supports creating a Palestinian state.

    But the six points are all just figments of J Street’s imagination. They have either been rejected outright by the Palestinian Authority or are simply wildly implausible.”

    SOURCE: J Street’s Phony Poll,
    by Stephen M. Flatow, 2018 November 9


    << Campus chapters of J Street—an organization that calls itself “pro-Israel, pro-peace”—have worked with the anti-Israel BDS campaign, according to an investigative report by Noah Pollak, published Monday in The Washington Free Beacon. >>

    SOURCE: On American University Campuses,
    J Street U Supports Anti-Israel Boycotts
    by Tower, 2018 June 6

  8. “Unlike J Street’s supporters, the overwhelming majority of Israelis understand the truth about the P.A.’s [Palestinian Authority’s] repeated rejection of peace.

    They know that neither Abbas nor his Hamas rivals want a two-state solution.

    Until that changes, most Israelis regard any talk of territorial withdrawal as madness. Israelis who share J Street’s views, like the left-wing Meretz Party, remain marginalized.”

    Never Mind J Street by Jonathan S. Tobin, 20184/17

    << Try asking American Jews if they would support an agreement that leaves Iran in possession of the machinery to manufacture nuclear weapons in the future, and see what they say.

    But of course J Street will never ask such a question.

    It has defined its role as serving as a “blocking back” for the Obama administration’s Mideast policies, and misrepresenting Jewish opinion is a crucial part of its strategy. >>

    SOURCE: Phony J Street Poll Exposed
    by Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn, 2015/2/19

    Harvard Law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz said:

    “Why then is J Street so determined to deny its members the opportunity to hear divergent views from center-leftists like me? Because its leaders are afraid that if I were allowed to address its conference, I would tell its members the truth about J Street — a truth they try hard to conceal, particularly from college students who are lured into the J Street fold on false pretenses. The key to J Street’s success in increasing its membership roles is its ability to speak out of both sides of its mouth. To those on the hard left, it offers anti-Israel and pro-BDS speakers, support for the mendacious Goldstone Report, and opposition to keeping the military option on the table as a last resort in preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

    To the soft left, it focuses on its opposition to Israeli settlements and its support for a two-state solution—positions with which I and many supporters of Israel agree.

    But it hides its controversial, hard left positions that endanger Israel’s security—positions with which most supporters of Israel disagree. It also hides the financial support it has received from anti-Zionists such as George Soros, as well as the anti-Zionist statements made by some of its founders and activists.”

    Guess Who’s Not Speaking at the J Street Conference?
    by Alan Dershowitz, 2015 March 20

    [Jim] Baker, who as George H.W. Bush’s secretary of state back in 1991, is reported to have said: “F— the Jews” since they don’t vote for Republicans anyway, delivered a well-received speech to the [J Street] conference Monday night that was interrupted repeatedly by applause.

    SOURCE: Why J Street loves Jim Baker
    by Ron Kampeas 2015 March 24,

  9. “J Street's pro-Israel bona fides are themselves far from impeccable...

    Despite their repeated denials to the contrary,
    in 2008 and 2009 J Street received funding from George Soros, who is on nobody's list of top supporters of Israel.”

    SOURCE: Judging J Street By
    The Candidates They Support
    , 2018 May 3,

    << In 2009, Ben Ami claimed J Street "refuses to embrace" the Goldstone Report, which criticized Israel on its conduct during Operation Cast Lead (December 27, 2008 - January 18, 2009).

    But when a resolution was sponsored in Congress condemning the report, Goldstone circulated a document to defend it.

    The source of the report traced to Mort Halperin of the J Street advisory council.

    In 2011, Goldstone himself repudiated his own report.

    In fact, J Street went so far as to facilitate visits for Goldstone to the Hill. >>

    SOURCE: Judging J Street
    by The Candidates They Support
    , 2018 May 3,

    “Already in 2009, there were connections between JStreet and NIAC, a pro-Iranian advocacy group that would become instrumental in pushing the Iran deal -- which J Street still supports….

    So if this is the kind of organization J Street is, we can expect that the candidates it supports reflect J Street's own anti-Israel animus.”

    SOURCE: Judging J Street
    by The Candidates They Support
    , 2018 May 3,

    “J Street, a progressive organization funded primarily by far-left individuals who are critical of Israeli policy and more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, is holding its annual conference this week in Washington…

    from the discussion, you would not know there was a violence problem in Palestinian society.

    The panelists mostly agreed that the Palestinian Authority is corrupt, feckless, and self-absorbed…

    But what was totally missing from the discussion was the role that violence, Islamism, and terrorism play in Palestinian life.”

    At J Street Conference, it’s Blame Israel First,
    by Jonathan Greenberg 2015 March 24

    1. Your arguments that JStreet is anti-Israel are about as interesting to me as a case that pigs are treif and insects are t'meiim. The talmudic expression is pshita. However, there is a certain population for which that is not so obvious. What I'm trying to do is present some arguments that would convince that population of the actual nature of JStreet, or at a minimum make that population permeable to the arguments you raise.

      It is proper to ask questions as to whether or not the argument I present would have the intended effect or even if it is worth trying to reach that target audience (though I would ask anyone making that case what the point is of any hasbara). My strategy is to force listeners to disregard the slogan which would induce looking for other criteria to evaluate JStreet. Do you have any question about the efficacy of presenting a case of a slogan that the target audience would almost universally regard as at odds with the truth in convincing that audience that a slogan does not necessarily reflect reality? Do you have a better argument to make the case that slogans are meaningless, at least for that particular audience? Ultimately, this is an empirical question, for which I don't think any of has any data, but that's not a reason to refrain from proposing ideas that others might be able to test.

    2. Sar Shalom, over the past few days, I have posted 25 quotes to this blog, quotes designed to expose the anti-Israel nature of the J Street organization.

      All 25 quotes are exactly-accurate and precisely-sourced. Some quotes are from highly-respected people.

      If that is not good enough, then I don't know what else I can do.

  10. I know most of you dont read at dKos anymore but I stop by the swamp now and again to see what the losers are up to. Today, 2 diaries, when looked at together (titles only) set me in stitches laughing.

    1. Gaza 2018. The World Ignored Months of Nonviolent Protesters Killed; Guess What Happened Next?

    2.After More Than a Decade Of Battling Mental Illness, I'm Finally Able to Celebrate My Stability

    I know. I'm a bad person. But life made me that way.

    1. Well, this is the down side of the internet, i.e., the magnification of marginal personalities for disseminating bad ideas and propaganda on behalf of genocidal organizations such as Hamas who have no business as a part of any kind of enlightened liberal thinking. Are these people presenting themselves as thinkers really thinkers?

    2. Yet they have an avid audience. Certainly, worldwide, not just them but the media in general presented the Gaza protests as peaceful despite the daily barrage of images showing the exact opposite. The number of Israel hating, Hamas loving congresscritters just went up huge per centages with the election of the 3 latest fifth railers, Muslim women - Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar and socialist socialist Occasional -Cortex.

  11. J-Street seems to believe that "the Jewish State is our misfortune." That about sums it all up. That and the word Kapo.

    1. They are kidding themselves.
      I'm going to lift one of those phrases they enjoy so much and turn it back them, "Hey, J-Street, not in my name!"

  12. Perhaps you should tell liberals this:

    1. We educated our little ones in the evils of communism, real communism, from the source. Their grandparents were actual Soviet Communists who fled when things got bad, so bad that even Party Members who were Jews, might be wiped out in yet another of the purges. My little ones know what real communism looks like. Oddly though, that doesn't seem to matter to one of them. He's about as far left, progressive, checkbox liberal as you can be. I'm not sure these progressives think of any of this is 'bad'. Their view is more Machiavellian; anything for the cause, no price too high to pay. And if they can be a leader, that's even better.

  13. Well Thanksturkey was interesting. One young progressive Jew started a shouting match that ended more or less with (to paraphrase) Trump is worse than the Civil War and all republicans should probably be killed by the millions if that what it takes to get rid of him. So much for all that BBYO, Jewish education, Birthright trips to Israel, and a free college and graduate education.

    1. Perhaps he/she will grow up one day. You never know. I knew a guy in college who became ran at one point touting marxism and Castro. He took a trip to Cuba. He just couldn't get enough. The last I heard he became a bank officer.

  14. "Argentina soccer fans chant ‘kill Jews to make soap’ at team with Jewish roots
    Violent clashes reported after game where All Boys fans also wave Palestinian flags and T-shirts bearing Iranian symbols in game against Atlanta, a team from a Jewish neighborhood "

    Jerks. Nazi loving jerks.